Induction instructions

23rd September 2005 at 01:00
Wow! Isn't it great to feel like a real teacher, with your own timetable, register and pupils? You're going to have a wonderful first year, but it'll be tough, so use induction to help you get off to a good start. It's a fantastic opportunity to make stacks of progress on the road to becoming a great teacher. But be warned: lots of NQTs don't get their full entitlement and feel awkward about asking for it. It's your duty to develop into the best teacher you can be, so you'll be doing all your present and future classes a favour if you make a fuss - in the most professional way of course.

While you're on induction your job shouldn't make "unreasonable demands" on you. So you shouldn't have to teach exceptionally difficult kids, subjects or age groups that you haven't been trained for. Or have a management role.

Headteachers are contractually obliged to give NQTs a 10 per cent lighter timetable than other class teachers. That's on top of planning, preparation and assessment time. Your reduced timetable shouldn't be used for catching up with planning or marking, but for your professional development. Call it induction time, to avoid confusion.

Induction tutors' understanding of what they have to do varies considerably. They (and you) can find out everything in the induction section of the Training and Development Agency for Schools website.

It's important to get your relationship off to a good start. If they don't suggest a regular time to meet, you could. Tutors may not be up to date with the career entry and development profile, so be proactive in discussing your priorities with them. They'll help you focus on important professional development needs and draw up an action plan of things to do each week.

Let your tutor know that you're keen to be observed - the initial session should be in your first four weeks. It'll reassure you and help nip problems in the bud. Often these are simple details of organisation and procedures; compared with those exciting activities you've planned, they may seem pedestrian but, without them, life will be chaos. If you get things running smoothly in your classroom, you'll be able to do the teaching you've planned - and the kids will learn. You'll be on the road to being the best teacher possible!

Training Development Agency: www.tda.gov.uk

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